7 Lockdown Food Trends that Took Indonesia by Storm

7 Lockdown Food Trends that Took Indonesia by Storm

With everything that is going on around the world, many have turned to food as a source of comfort and hope, as Indonesians always do

Be it through eating, cooking, or giving, food is the new shoulder to lean on. Just like everywhere else, food has made its way closer to the hearts of Indonesians. Here are some lock-down food trends Indonesia has seen in the past few months.

1. The next Masterchef is... everyone

Balinese pie susu (milk pies) made on stovetop by Latifah Utama

We all became victims of Dalgona coffee and Indonesians, too, caught the coffee-whipping bug. Now street vendors are selling the frothy coffee for less than $1. And thanks to Dalgona, more budget-friendly, no-frills recipes blew up on Tiktok, debunking the myth that cooking something delicious requires a ton of experience. Of course, in gorengan (fritters sold by street vendors) and snacks country, the recipes that everyone loved to try were potato donuts, oreo cheesecake, Indomie carbonara, and Balinese milk pies.

For more experienced home cooks, they took this time to hone their cooking skills. Some even levelled up and cashed in on their cooking to embrace their entrepreneurial selves. From Basque burnt cheesecakes, Yoshinoya beef bowl dupes, silky hojicha puddings, to homemade pasta, good homemade food was just a call away.

2. Eats and treats, delivered

The generous home delivery spread by Chong Qing Liu Yi Shou

Care packages have been one of the best ways to show love in the time of Corona and nothing says care like food does. Cookies, herbal jamu drinks, coffee, and tiramisu were few of the popular treats delivered and it became the common love language during Ramadan. Deliveries got more frequent when Eid came around, as various businesses came up with limited edition hampers with customizable cards to keep that festive spirit of togetherness.

The fasting season this year was also graced by an abundance of family time. To help foster that bond, many hotpot and Korean BBQ restaurants offered a full-service dining experience best enjoyed with loved ones. Places like Chongqing Liuyishou and Magal spoiled at-home diners with their expansive menu, complete with their iconic utensils. With zero stress of securing a reservation, intimate at-home dining is one trend we hope to see more often post-quarantine.

3. Coffee and boba by the litres

Always caffeine ready for WFH days with Toko Kopi Tuku’s bottled kopi susu

Where would we be without coffee? And where would Indonesians be without their es kopi susu? The mid ‘19 boom of iced latte mixed with palm sugar is still going strong as local coffee shops introduced 1 litre bottle versions of their es kopi susu. Local pioneer Toko Kopi Tuku was one of the firsts to offer this and the initial hype was real. Orders only opened 10 PM daily and the coffee was sold out within mere minutes!

Now almost every coffee shop has their own 1 litre bottles versions of specialty drinks, be it iced chocolate, matcha latte, or even the classic, black coffee. Starbucks even joined in the trend and soon after, boba tea shops chimed in. Chatime has their famed Roasted Milk Tea in bottles, and Xing Fu Tang with their 2 litre milk tea and DIY boba for a more hands-on experience.

4. Ready for the weekend, at home

Mini cocktail bottles by Kilo Lounge for post-WFH mini treats

It can get hard to draw the line on where work starts and and work ends during WFH but we’re still living for the weekends! With virtual happy hours and DJ livestreams being the new norm, bars like Slits gave out cocktail promos so you can jiggy while tipply at home. We’re also seeing a rise of homegrown bartenders as some have also launched DIY cocktail kits. So don’t be shocked if your colleague can whip up a mean Gin and T the next time you see them.

Not a fan of making your own drinks? Jakarta’s favorite bars like Union and Kilo Lounge created bottled versions of their signature cocktails to enjoy after a long day of back-to-back concalls. Bottle service is even more comfy now as you get to drink at home with free delivery and at slashed prices, a great deal introduced by many establishments across the country.

5. Restaurants, behind the scenes

Now you can learn how cook up a mean slab of meat á la Cork and Screw

Nowadays, we’re seeing a new wave of dining experiences: what goes behind the kitchen door. Owners and chefs are making appearances on IG Live sessions to talk about their journey in the industry. Eatlah, a homegrown salted egg specialty chain, did just that with their #ChitChatLah episodes. Pairing with other industry players, they discuss branding, COVID-19 trends and more, in a move to grow love and support for local brands.

Other trending Instagram sessions we saw are virtual cookouts by a variety of renowned chefs. Award winning Chef Fernando Sindu from Cork and Screw, went live to teach hungry patrons on how to elevate their vacuum-packed steaks, and Chef Talita Setyadi from BEAU Bakery published a tutorial on how to recreate their gooey brownies from their #BakeAtHome packs. The trend was also followed by hotels as chefs from Westin Bali dropped recipes on how to create their famed dishes from home.

6. Giving the gift of food

Packing home cooked meals for those in need by Devina Dascal

Food delivery service drivers have always been the unsung heroes around the globe, especially at a time like this. Putting their life on the line, many Indonesians have been purchasing meals for their drivers to express their gratitude. Restaurants have even offered a special menu for customers to order for their drivers. Some businesses have even donated meals in return for dishes purchased.

We also saw a rise of independent soup kitchens, even by those who have never cooked before. The crowdfunded meals made were then distributed to those affected by the pandemic like street and market vendors, and taxi and ride-hailing drivers. Businesses have also followed this movement and opened their doors to these informal workers, where they can get a meal on the house.

7. My bread, my canvas 

Made in 4 hours, devoured in 1 minute, “bread of patience” by Ahmad Fadil Martian

Saving the best for last, one of the most amusing trends that lived and made the country chuckle was chocolate rice “paintings” on bread. It became a viral challenge on Twitter and thousands posted their decadent masterpieces, including Masterchef Indonesia judge Chef Arnold Poernomo and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing. It’s safe to say that these pieces of bread really turned a lot of frowns upside down.

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